What is it that makes the stereotypical image of the sexy schoolteacher or voluptuous nurse so popular in men's daydreams? What is it that makes X-files character Dana Scully - whose body we've only seen clothed in long dark coats and power suits - still such a babe in the eyes of men who could look at porn sites til their eyes fell out if they wanted to?
These women shine in men's eyes because their beauty is magnified by the fact that they do something in life.
Intelligence, dedication, rationality...specialized knowledge, skill, a look "behind the eyes" that reveals a confident and wholly realized adult human being: these are things that set some women apart from others and make men weak in the knees. Nothing turns a man on more than an attractive woman who can sequence DNA or translate three languages or write bestselling novels. Sometimes, these things alone are what make her attractive in the first place.
It's important to have passion in life. It's important to be fascinated by something and pursue it with all you've got. This is what I mean by "career" - something that helps define your life, the thing that would make you get out of bed in the morning even if you won the lottery and never had to work again. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your job or making money, but it has everything to do with that special light that comes into your eyes when you think about it. Whether it's painting, writing, microbiology or archaeology, gardening, music or quantum physics, find the area of life that fascinates you the most and dive in head first.
While this advice applies equally to men and women alike, it is more often men who go after their dreams and build a life for themselves based on their chosen career. Men seldom need to be encouraged to pursue what interests them in life. They seem to know, almost instinctively, that life is an experience to be savored, and that women love men who know this.
A lot of women, on the other hand, seem to obsess about finding love instead of finding themselves, and devote most of their adolescence, if not entire adulthood, to looking pretty enough to attract a man. Wanting to look pretty is fine. Thinking that it is all you will ever need to earn the love of a truly wonderful man is about as wrong as you can get.
A wonderful man wants a wonderful woman, and that means a woman with self-esteem and direction in life, a woman dedicated to achieving the things that she has deemed important to her own life. Pursuing your chosen career and excelling at it, whichever sex you are, is the true source of self-esteem. It is also fundamental to a vibrant and exciting marriage.
Impress yourself before you worry about impressing someone else. Do it because it fascinates you. Be a unique individual with unique dreams and goals in life, knowing that a wonderful fringe benefit of this is that you will attract those with similar values, and will likely find real love in the process.